greenmachine96

Eeling the canal

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Hi all,

 

I wouldn't consider myself a ditch regular by any means, but I live around Boston and have gone down to the canal more than a few times this year. I've been learning a ton this year during my first full season in MA, and was wondering strategy for eeling the canal. For example, with strong moon tides, is it customary to use a sinker to toss the eel? Is it more common to liveline the eel and try to stay in contact? My thought was to maybe throw the eel with a 2-4 oz sinker on, with the eel on a decently long leader so that it can move somewhat freely and I won't be getting swept down current. I figure it is late in the year, one more canal trip where I try something new would be fun before I pack it up for the season, and hoping that getting better at this strategy would give me a shot at a fish to remember. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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I really enjoy eeling the canal though I have a lot to learn. I target rips and holes close to shore, allowing the eel to drift through the water and over the structure that holds the bass. I usually fish large lively eels without a weigth, allowing the eel to drift and dive towards the bottom. I do need weight I might throw on a rubber core weight. Otherwise I use my typical eeling rig. A 36" - 40" 60lb leader with a good quality and sharp octopus hook between 5/0 and 7/0.

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5 hours ago, Sandbar1 said:

I really enjoy eeling the canal though I have a lot to learn. I target rips and holes close to shore, allowing the eel to drift through the water and over the structure that holds the bass. I usually fish large lively eels without a weight, allowing the eel to drift and dive towards the bottom. I do need weight I might throw on a rubber core weight. Otherwise I use my typical eeling rig. A 36" - 40" 60lb leader with a good quality and sharp octopus hook between 5/0 and 7/0.

+1

 

I find that the large eels rarely need additional weight.   I usually use them +/- two hours or so around the turns.  When fishing them during full-blast currents I look for eddies and fish the seams where the eddy current meets the main current.  It's easier to get the eel close to the bottom by flipping it 20-30' up into the eddy current, then staying in contact with the eel by reeling in slowly, then opening my bail (keeping my fingers on the spool) when the eddy current meets the main current to allow the eel to swim just in the seam, if that makes sense to you.

 

Three to four feet of 60# mono leader.  I usually start with longer, then check it regularly for nicks and cut it back/retie as needed.  I use primarily circle hooks which give me a better hookup rate than Octopus hooks, without worrying about gut-hooking.

 

As for adding weight, I've never had luck with rubber core sinkers because they either fall off or abrade my leader.   (Maybe Sandbar1 will school me when he returns?)  The few times that I do need weight (usually when the eel has gotten *tired*) I use a Carolina rig, but place the egg sinker on my leader, not my braid.  

 

HTH.

 

 

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Awesome info, thanks @Southcoastphil. I was thinking about eeling with my conventional setup. I'm not the most confident caster with a conventional so my distance might suffer, but it might be worth it to keep good contact as the eel gets pushed down the current and to allow it to swim, as you mentioned. I'll let you know if I try it. 

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1 hour ago, greenmachine96 said:

Awesome info, thanks @Southcoastphil. I was thinking about eeling with my conventional setup. I'm not the most confident caster with a conventional so my distance might suffer, but it might be worth it to keep good contact as the eel gets pushed down the current and to allow it to swim, as you mentioned. I'll let you know if I try it. 

Happy to help.

 

I will caution you to NOT worry about casting distance.  I can only think of ONE spot that I've cast eels more than 40 yards, and that's at low slack water to reach the far side of the area I fish.  All of my other eeling spots on the ditch can effectively be fished with casts of only 20-30 yards.  (I find it all but impossible to stay in contact with my eel when it's 40-50 yards out in those currents and at the proper depth.  Maybe I just $uck at long distance eeling?)

 

If you want to PM me with your phone #, I'll give you a call this evening to answer any other questions you might have.

 

PS.  Feel free to use your spinning gear if you're more comfortable with that.  

Edited by Southcoastphil

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You are getting some good advice from Sandbar and Phil I would offer one suggestion that rather then using a weight outside of the eel that you open its mouth and stuff a rubber core [appropriate weight] down its gullet secure the hook and you have a trouble free set up , no matter if you fish the canal or the beach with eels . Take out the rubber insert from the lead core weight . Continued success. Peace

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